Cambodia North Zone Phnom Penh

Week 15: He Created Us to Have Joy!

Dec 18, 2022

What's up everyone, I hope everyone is doing well! First off, I wanted to shout out my two amazing sisters because they both graduated college this week. LETSSS GOOOOO! So proud of them. 

The transfer ended this week, and luckily Elder Schofield is still my trainer! So excited, but I won't lie, this was kind of a rough week for me. We started off the week super strong on Tuesday and went on exchanges with Elder Winegar and Elder Dennett. I was with Elder Dennett, and he has only been in country for four months so I had to do a lot more talking and contacting than I normally do and it really pushed me. It was a super fun day and gave me a lot of confidence for the rest of the week I thought. Unfortunately, the next day Elder Schofield got super sick, but we still went out and worked because he didn't want to sit around and do nothing all day. Respect. Then the next day I got a little sick and the food has not been agreeing with my stomach lately. So, the rest of the week we weren't really 100% and I was feeling a bit discouraged. I just felt like I wasn't doing enough, and I'll be honest I didn't want to do certain things sometimes. I was just in a bad mood and I didn't really know why. I ended up asking for a blessing and felt a lot better after. Moral of the story though is sometimes we have to do things that we don't want to do. Elder Schofield and I had a really good conversation about this during one of our companion studies and talked about how, as missionaries, we have to sacrifice a lot or do things that we don't want to in order to receive greater things. Did I want to leave my family and friends for two years? No. Did I want to leave my house and my comfy bed? No. Did I want to stop going to school for two years? Maybe. Does Heavenly Father want all His children to make it back to Him? Yes. Do I want to help God's children find their way back to Him? Yes. And that's why I am willing to sacrifice all of those things in my life right now, because what a blessing and joy it is to help others to come unto Christ. 

I have been thinking a lot about the Atonement of Jesus Christ lately, another great gift that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have given us in our lives. I want to ask one more question though. Do you think Jesus Christ wanted to feel every pain, affliction, and sin of every person that lived and will ever live on the earth? No. As Christ was in the Garden of Gethsemane, bleeding from every pore, he knelt down in prayer, "Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done." (Luke 22:42). Christ literally asked God to take away all the pains and afflictions if it was according to God's will. Even though Jesus Christ didn't want to feel all that pain and suffering, He wanted to save all of God's children and knew He was the one who had to do it. He died for every single one of us, in order for us to be saved. He sacrificed His life for something even greater. The salvation of all of God's children. 

Obviously, life isn't easy. There are going to be many times of hardships and struggles that we will face and that's normal. There will be times where you don't want to do something but have to. Don't think you can't ever be sad or have a bad day, but as President Uchtdorf quoted in a talk, "God didn’t design us to be sad. He created us to have joy!" (A Summer With Great-Aunt Rose by President Uchtdorf). I highly recommend watching this talk, it was amazing. Go watch it right now! I think sometimes it can be easy to forget why God created us or why Jesus Christ sacrificed His life for us. Remember the reason they did, like President Uchtdorf quoted, is so we can have joy. As Christmas is coming up, I hope you all think about our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and think of all the amazing blessings we have received from Them. Remember how much They love you and how much I love you. Find that joy in your life and share it with everyone. I love you all so much!


Elder Mendenhall

📸 All the photos:

I finally figured out how to put the newest pictures at the top so you don't have to scroll all the way to the bottom anymore :)

A sampling: